Barton Back in Court?

By: AP
By: AP

A former Forest Service employee could stand trial for the worst wildfire in Colorado's recorded history, five years after the Hayman Fire destroyed more than 130 homes.

A judge has ruled that Terry Barton violated the terms of her plea agreement in the 2002 fire by appealing the state's 12 year sentence. Fourth Judicial District Judge Thomas Kennedy on Monday says prosecutors can withdraw the agreement and set a conference call for later this month to discuss scheduling the case for trial.

Barton's public defender Mark Walta says he's considering appealing Kennedy's decision to the Colorado Supreme Court. Prosecutor John Newsome, who's acting as a representative for the four counties where the fire burned, says they're trying to preserve their predecessor's agreement.

Barton pleaded guilty to a state felony arson charge. She's currently serving a six-year federal sentence but an appeals court threw out her 12-year sentence on the state charge.

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